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Verizon may soon allow Android users to remove majority of its bloatware

According to Verizon, Big Red is testing a new bloatware installation process that will allow all pre-installed apps to be uninstalled completely. Sound too good to be true?
July 25, 2014
Verizon logo

Some of the biggest complaints we often hear regarding Verizon have to do with the company’s desire to make its branding as large as possible when placing it on our mobile devices and Big Red’s love for throwing bloatware on our handsets. To be fair, Verizon has gotten a little better over the years about the size of their branding (a little..), but what about bloatware? It seems that Big Red might be taking a small but positive step forward here is as well.

Earlier this month Verizon started sending out a survey to select customers asking them about bloatware and what bundled apps they use and don’t use. Following this survey, Verizon has now officially begun testing out a new bloatware application installation process for the LG G3 that supposedly will make bloatware a little less of a pain to deal with.

Here’s the full statement from Verizon about the change:

Verizon is trialing a new service on the LG G3. Pre-loaded applications will install in the background during the activation and set up process. Once setup is complete, the applications will appear in the applications folder as though they have been traditionally pre-loaded. However, there IS one key difference; the applications can be completely and entirely uninstalled by the customer via the standard uninstall process. Customers will not incur any data usage or charges for the download and installation of these applications.

Verizon’s statement certainly sounds too good to be true for those that hate pre-installed apps, and that’s probably because it is. According to Droid-Life, they tested out their Verizon G3 unit and found that they weren’t able to install each and every pre-installed app to their heart’s content. So what’s going on here? First, it’s possible this is a limited test that doesn’t apply to all LG G3 hardware. Second, Verizon may allow users to uninstall select 3rd party apps but could plan to prevent “important” (aka worthless) Verizon-branded apps from being removed. We wouldn’t be too surprised if the latter proves correct.

Regardless of how it all plays out, at least Verizon is taking baby steps in the right direction. Better than nothing, we suppose. What do you think, should carriers have the right to force us to keep their self-branded bloatware or should every app on our phones and tablets be uninstallable? For that matter, should all Google apps and services also be removable? Let us know what you think in the comments below.